Sunday, July 17, 2016

NEW GHOSTBUSTERS


Ghostbusters

Release date: July 15, 2016

Writers: Katie Dippold and Paul Feig

Director: Paul Feig

Main Cast:

  •       Melissa McCarthy as Abby Yates
  •       Kristen Wiig as Erin Gilbert
  •       Kate McKinnon as Jillian Holtzmann
  •        Leslie Jones as Patty Tolan
  •        Chris Hemsworth as Kevin Beckman
  •        Cecily Strong as Jennifer Lynch
  •        Andy GarcĂ­a as Mayor Bradley
  •        Charles Dance as Harold Filmore
  •        Michael Kenneth Williams as Agent Hawkins
  •        Matt Walsh as Agent Rourke
  •        Neil Casey as Rowan North
  •        Adam Ray as Slimer (voice)


 (Rating 5 of 5)

Summary: (Spoilers! After all it’s a summary. So stop reading if you don’t want a spoiler.) The movie begins with a tour guide getting the scare of his life.  The main action however starts with Erin Gilbert who is trying to gain tenure at Columbia University, so she is under a lot of pressure partially from her Boss, Lord Tywin Lannister.  So she is not happy to hear that her old friend Abby Yates has published their book about ghosts, which she learns from a museum curator.
Erin

                She goes to confront Abby and meets Jillian Holtzmann, who is Abby's new BFF.  They agree to pull the book temporally if she introduces them to the museum curator.  Erin agrees and they head out.  While they are there they have their first ghost encounter, put the video on YouTube, and they all lose their jobs.
Abby

                They decide to come together and  do research independent of any college. The three women rent a floor on top of the Chinese Food Restaurant, and call themselves Department of the Metaphysical Examination.  They hire an incompetent but really attractive receptionist named Kevin.  They are then contacted by Leslie Jones a subway worker about weird stuff that is happening in the subway after a mysterious figure named Rowan showed up.  They encounter a ghost and almost catch it but their tech needs improvements.   Leslie Jones after this joins their group bringing her New York City history knowledge and access to a car.   Their YouTube videos lead the media to label them “the Ghostbusters” a name they hate but nevertheless are forced to except.
Holtzmann

                Rowan North is a human who is trying to break the barrier with the spirit world and allow an army of spirits in, instead of the occasional few spirits that pass.  Rowan’s evil plan is being implemented while the Ghostbusters are building their tools. 
Leslie

                The Ghostbusters finally get a case where they go to a heavy metal concert to combat a large ghost.  The successfully capture the ghost in front of the concert audience but not before they ghost trashed the band and they trashed the theater in their attempt to catch it.
Kevin

                As they travel back home with their captured ghost, a popular skeptic and debunker asks to see it.  After much arguing they decide to let it out of the trap and show him.  Then the ghost flew out and killed the guy.  The local cops almost arrest them until two special agents take the Ghostbusters and bring them to the Mayor’s office.  They are surprised to find that the Mayor is a believer and he has been concerned about what’s going for some time.  He thanks the Ghostbusters for their information and then apologizes for having to smear them with the label of frauds in order to avoid panic.
Ghostbusters are on their first case.

                The Ghostbusters then track down Rowan and have a confrontation with him.  The confrontation ends with Rowan’s apparently accidentally electrocuting himself.  They shut down his system and the Mayor’s assistant shows to thank them and let them know they are under arrest for being frauds. 
Taking down the nasty ghost!

                It turns out Rowan’s death wasn’t accidental but part of a plan to transform himself to a powerful ghost.  Erin figured it out while going through Rowan notes tries.  So she tries to warn the Mayor and is arrested again.  
Rowan is not dead.

                Rowan, now a ghost, possesses Abby then tries to kill Holtzmann.  Leslie manages to stop it and Rowan then leaves and possesses Kevin instead.  In Kevin’s body Rowan begins his evil plan.  He turns the machines on, freezes the cops, and allow the army of ghost to arrive.  The three Ghostbusters at the Restaurant head out in their Ecto-1, then when they get out to clear a road block, Slimer shows up and steals their car.  They don’t fire on it because there is a nuclear device on the top.  Then they are later pinned by a balloon version of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, but Erin shows up to rescue them.  Erin had gotten out of jail and was looking for a taxi cab driver to bring her back to the action.
Ending the world

                They then go to confront Rowan who abandons Kevin and takes the form of the ghost from their symbol.  They battle him for a while and realized that they need to seal the portal.  In order to seal the portal they need a nuclear device.  At that point Slimer along with a Mrs and some friends shows up in the Ecto-1.  The Ghostbusters get them to drive into the portal causing it to reverse and suck everything back in, including all-powerful Rowan.  Abby gets pulled in but Erin saves her.

Oh, Hell!
                The city is back to normal but no one is sure what happened, the Ghostbusters don’t get credit but they do get the firehouse.  In the end they are building a Containment Unit and they get a message from someone called Zuul.
This isn't good!

My Take: (Lots of Spoilers in this section too!  Yup spoilers.)  When I first heard of this movie I had two main fears.  The first is they would take the Ghostbusters name and make a movie that didn’t even resemble the concept.  This fear was a set aside as soon as the first production pictures came in.  The second fear is it would be a complete remake of the first one retold line by line with the only difference being that it was women.  If you have seen the modern Karate Kid you know what I am talking about.

                When the trailer first started I was excited, we were finally getting a third Ghostbuster movie.  Then the floor out when I found out it was a reboot and it killed my excitement for the project.  Nevertheless I vowed to enter the movie with an open mind, even though I felt weird after two movies and 140 episodes of a cartoon to be entering something called “Ghostbusters” knowing that Peter Venkman, Ray Stantz, Egon Spengler, Winston Zeddemore, and Janine Melnitz weren’t going be there.  

                 In my review for Ghostbusters II I stated that it was unfair that the movie was judged harshly because it wasn’t “as good” as the first one.  I said it deserved to be graded on its own merits as a movie.  Now you’ll notice that I graded this movie a five on a five point scale (the same for movie One and Two) that doesn’t mean they’re the same.  If I was grading on a hundred point scale I would give the first movie a ninety-nine and the second and current film and eight-five.   

                Overall I found this to be a fast paced very entertaining movie.  If you go to see this movie you will have a good time.  The cast is great and they have good chemistry together.  I was very pleased to see it was its very own story and it wasn’t just a modern retelling of the original.
I loved that Slimer was there.  No Ghostbuster story is complete without him.

                The biggest difference between the modern Ghostbusters and original is the relationship between the story and comedy.   The original Ghostbusters was a film that did not was a science fiction/horror story first and a comedy second.  It doesn't try to push the jokes on you they develop naturally with the characters.  In fact if you watch the movie as a child, as I did, you don’t even realize it’s a comedy until you watch as an adult and suddenly you get the jokes.  The funny part is you had four Ghostbusters with quirky personalities (plus Louis Tully) reacting to what is going on in serious story line. The new Ghostbusters is a comedy first and science fiction/horror second.  Each scene tries to squeeze out the maximum amount of laughs.  You might have to see multiple times to get all the jokes. 

                The comedy difference in the two films is best seen in the two meetings the Mayor’s office.  In the first Ghostbusters movie, the Ghostbusters have been summoned from jail to the see the Mayor.  When they arrived every major authority was discussing an event that they didn’t understand.  Amongst these men the Catholic Archbishop of New York, who could take no official position, said he thought it was the end of the world.  Everyone in that room, save the four Ghostbusters, was generally acting like people would act if the event were real.  In the new movie when they are brought in to the Mayor’s office after a skeptic goes flying out their window and a good deal of the meeting involves everyone in the office discussing the analogy of “Cat out of the bag.”
  
When I actually can obtain a clip from this scene I plan to update this part of the entry so they can be compared side by side.  
                Like with my review of Ghostbusters II, I would like to point out things I didn’t like first so I can finish positive.  So the things I didn’t like:

  • The whole reboot thing.  I really wish they had made it into the squeal.  The old Ghostbusters have been gone for years and with the return of ghosts these women decide to recreate it.  Maybe have one of the old ones (Ray, perhaps) as a type of adviser.
  • The PKE meter looked dumb.
  • I didn’t like the new nontraditional Ghostbuster gadgets.  Their job is to catch ghosts not blow them up.  Since you can’t destroy ghosts if you rip them up then they will just reform, so you’re just adding trouble later. (Although it did turn out they didn’t have to worry about it.)

                Things about the movie that I really enjoyed:

  • We have a Ghostbusters movie. Took long enough. 
  •  Erin’s boss being Lord Tywin (I miss him.)
  • Jillian Holtzmann as a character.
  • All the Kevin scenes, funny as hell.
  • Leslie as New York historian; we might have some similar interests.
  • The chemistry between the four Ghostbusters.
  • The villain was very interesting.

                Now for my stray observations:

  •        Recognized the Silicon Valley alumnus giving the tour.  Interesting is I am currently training to be a tour guide.  
  • Lord Tywin doesn’t like Princeton.
  • I like Pringles.
  •       For a person who was such a nasty human being Gertrude Aldridge’s ghost was rather tame.
    Bad ass human=Lame ass ghost.
  • If I was a subway worker and I saw someone jump on the tracks I wouldn’t be chasing after them, I would assume he was suicidal and call the cops.
    Yeah, someone you would not see me standing on tracks of an active train system.
  •  $21,000 a month?  How much to buy?  No wonder their predecessors were always looking for cash. 
  •  I thought it was interesting in this Ghostbusters movie, unlike the other two, these Ghostbusters never have a moment just being the Ghostbusters.  In first movie after their first job business booms and they earn fame as the Ghostbusters.  In the second one after the court scene the same thing happens.  In this one they catch a ghost and then a skeptic dies.  They get sent to the Mayor by the police and the major event starts.
    First big ghost catch, no real reward.
  • Bill Murray got we he wanted out of a new Ghostbusters movie. 
  • Where did Erin get her Ghostbuster gear and suit?  One moment she is trying to get a ride from a taxi driver wearing civilian clothes and the next she pops the balloon version of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man in full regalia. 
  • The white hair on the Erin and Abby in the end reminded me of what happened to Ray in the last episode of the second season.

         Ignore the haters; if you really liked Ghostbusters as a kid you should enjoy this movie.    

Friday, July 15, 2016

SEASON 7 SUMMARY


The shortest season of the series, Season 7 consists of only four episodes.  I am not sure why this is the case.  The four episodes weren’t anything special I would say slightly under average.  One episode “Not now, Slimer” was outright terrible.  I would have thought such a short season would mean the writers would try to go out with a bang, they don’t.  The episodes are inconsistent and not of great quality.  Only the trip to Japan was very good.  It was quite a shame.  

THE END OF AN ERA


20,000 Leagues Under the Street

Original Air date October 5, 1991

Writers: Jules Dennis and Richard Mueller

Director: Raymond Jafelice

Main Cast:
  • Dave Coulier as Peter Venkman
  • Frank Welker as Raymond Stantz
  • Maurice LaMarche as Egon Spengler
  • Buster Jones as Winston Zeddemore
  • Kath Soucie as Janine Melnitz
  • Frank Welker as Slimer
  • Rodger Bumpass as Louis Tully
(Rating 3 of 5)

Summary:  Peter has a nasty dream about bugs.  He hates bugs with a passion.  Unfortunately for him he is fighting an Egyptian God of Insects, Apshia, today.  Janine is shown escorting Winston to a display on ancient Egypt.  Janine is quite the Egyptologist shown to be so obsessed that she thinks she was an Egyptian Princess in your last life. 
Reign of the Bugs

                The ancient god comes back and starts making insects big.  The real hard part is bugphobe Peter is kidnapped by the giant insects.  Janine however remembers that the glass tip of the pyramid is the source of the god’s power and she informs the Ghostbusters and they destroy it.
Janine's unknown passion.

                Egon in the end has to explain to Peter the importance of bugs.

My Take: For the last episode of series it didn’t feel like anything special.  It makes one wonder what the point of this final season was.  It’s the smallest of all of them yet it doesn’t seem to serve any purpose. 

                Now for my stray observations:
  • Since when does Janine have this must interest in academic stuff.
  • Why was Janine with Winston and not her boyfriend?  To be fair she does go places with other Ghostbusters, she went to Ghostworld with Ray.  Also there wasn’t any jealousy here.
  • Peter, as a scientist, should know of the importance of most insects.

 Out with a whimper.   

THE GHOSTBUSTERS IN JAPAN


Attack of the B-Movie Monsters

Original Air date September 21, 1991

Writers: Jules Dennis and Richard Mueller

Director: Raymond Jafelice

Main Cast:
  • Dave Coulier as Peter Venkman
  • Frank Welker as Raymond Stantz
  • Maurice LaMarche as Egon Spengler
  • Buster Jones as Winston Zeddemore
  • Kath Soucie as Janine Melnitz
  • Frank Welker as Slimer
  • Rodger Bumpass as Louis Tully
(Rating 4 of 5)

Summary: The Ghostbusters have been summoned to Japan deal with monsters that have been attacking.  The Japanese Government goes all out even giving the Ghostbusters the Ecto-Icha, a super advanced Ecto-1, to use in Japan.  The Ghostbusters defeat one of the monsters and then run into a young kid who knows of their origins.
Monster

                It turns out Ectoplasm has been leaking in the old studios that produced the monster movies.  This is causing a number of movie monsters to emerge in real life forcing the Ghostbusters to fight them.  The Ghostbusters need extra power to boost their packs so they can destroy the main monster, who looks a lot like Godzilla. So they go to the Japanese electrical tower that looks a lot like the Eiffel Tower.  They lose their new car in the battle but defeat the monsters.
Top Monster

My Take:  It’s a bit ironic that the Ghostbusters original animation team was in Japan.  Yet this episode was made after they were replaced, kind of sad.

                Now for my stray observations:

  •       I knew when we saw that kid being picked on in the beginning was going to be the hero, sort of obvious.
  •       Back in the 1980s there was a feat that Japan was flying miles of head of us technology wise.  Their really nice Ecto car that was like the Back to the Future Part II DeLorean was a symbol of that fear.
  •       So mix ectoplasm with film and the characters come to life.

A fun little episode.   

MISSING THE MARK


Not Now, Slimer!

Original Air date September 14, 1991

Writers: Len Janson and Chuck Menville

Director: Raymond Jafelice

Main Cast:
  • Dave Coulier as Peter Venkman
  • Frank Welker as Raymond Stantz
  • Maurice LaMarche as Egon Spengler
  • Buster Jones as Winston Zeddemore
  • Kath Soucie as Janine Melnitz
  • Frank Welker as Slimer
  • Rodger Bumpass as Louis Tully
(Rating 2 of 5)

Summary:  The episode begins with Slimer interrupting all the Ghostbusters and destroying one of Egon’s experiments.  Slimer gets yelled at and goes off to pout.  The Ghostbusters get called to a job.  When the Ghostbusters get there they end up fighting a ghost that they have chase around the entire city. It turns out that this ghost is the very incarnation of the anger of all the ghosts captured in the Containment Unit.
Slimer made a mess!

                Slimer spends the episode being chased by Dweeb until the big ghost shows up and drives him away.  Slimer and the Ghostbusters united to defeat the main super ghost.  
Super Ghost

My Take:  In an earlier episode the Ghostbusters encounter the ghost of Sherlock Holmes, who was a fictional character, this was explained by the concept of beliefs made manifest.  In the same nature the Ghostbusters in this episode encounter a powerful ghost who was brought to life from the anger of the ghosts captured in the Containment Unit.  Unfortunately instead of focusing on this very interesting concept the episode wastes half its run time with another encounter with villain Dweeb.  Yes, it was that bad. 

                Now for my stray observations:

·         When the ghost first attacks the old folks home the Ghostbusters are offended for taking advantage of old people.  But considering ghosts were once people how do they know a haunting at an old folks home isn’t a welcoming committee.
·         I am assuming that the left over ghost matter is what made the Ghostbusters not die when they fell from such a height.


This episode was very disappointing. 

PETER’S DAD IS BACK AND RAY IS FOOLISH ENOUGH TO TRUST HIM


The Treasure of Sierra Tamale

Original Air date September 7, 1991

Writers: Jules Dennis and Richard Mueller

Director: Raymond Jafelice

Main Cast:
  • Dave Coulier as Peter Venkman
  • Frank Welker as Raymond Stantz
  • Maurice LaMarche as Egon Spengler
  • Buster Jones as Winston Zeddemore
  • Kath Soucie as Janine Melnitz
  • Frank Welker as Slimer
  • Rodger Bumpass as Louis Tully
(Rating 3 of 5)

Summary:  Peter’s father Charles shows up with a money making scheme like always.  None of the Ghostbusters are buying it save Ray; he agrees to go off to an adventure in Mexico hoping to find lost treasure.  When they get there they find a tour guide and head out to the pyramid.
The other Ghostbusters show up when Ray needs them.

                When they get there they are attacked by Quoatles.  Ray uses a special pack that Egon gave him.  It’s a trap and proton pack in one, but can only be used a few times.  Ray uses it to trap one Quoatle while being chased by the other one.  Charles and Ray our trapped.  Their guide flees and calls in the Ghostbusters.
All together now!

                The other three Ghostbusters show up free Ray and Charles.  They find the treasure find that they came for and discover that they can’t take it because it belongs to the god Quetzalcoatl.  When they leave the guide was revealed to have been one of the Quoatles that they fought in human form.

My Take: When Peter’s Dad shows up you always know sleazy stuff is going to happen.  This time it is about finding treasure.  It ends about the same.

                Now for my stray observations:

·         Why did Ray fall for Charles’s plans.  Ray is not that dumb.
·         Okay so Ray uses this new special pack gets trapped and when they freed him he had a proton pack on!
·         Also when the big revals is there at the end why isn’t the Quoatle concerned about his captured fellow.


This was an okay episode but it wasn’t a favorite. 

SEASON 6 SUMMARY


This is it.  This is the season it started to really go downhill.  Season 4 burdened us with a new title, opening, and the dreaded Slimer subseries, but the mainstream series always continued its traditional high quality episodes.  Season 6 however, the quality drops in the mainstream episodes as well.

Season 6 starts strong there were some decent episodes in this season.  The first three were very good.  I really enjoyed the first episode “Janine You’ve Changed.”  Another great one was that came later was “Ghostworld.”  Yet, there are so many places were the season falls off.  Ideas are repeated but never referenced.  The show starts to sink in quality with some episodes being really weak or boring. 

                   The worst part of this season is tries to bring in elements from the Slimer subseries.  It was great that they had given up making more episodes of that disaster.  However you shouldn’t sink the mainstream quality with that junk.  In Season 6, we get Professor Dweeb with all his Loony Tune physics and then we also get an episode mocking that very concept. 


                Also the title sequence gets worse.  I don’t know who they had singing the classic song, but it wasn’t as good as Ray Parker.  They did thankfully restore the classic into to the end credits. The next season only had four episodes.  It’s not hard to see why.